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Summary

  1. Get in touch: bizlivepage@bbc.co.uk
  2. Pound slides over political uncertainty
  3. Easyjet forecasts profits at top end of range
  4. UK productivity falls in second quarter

Live Reporting

By Tom Espiner

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Good night

Well, that wraps it up for the Business Live page for another week. Please join us again on Monday from 06:00.

Internet speed guarantees must be realistic, says Ofcom

Broadband speed test
Getty Images

Internet users are to be granted more rights on connection speeds as Ofcom imposes tougher rules on how ISPs advertise broadband services.

The proposals give consumers the right to exit contracts penalty-free if speeds fall below a guaranteed minimum.

Ofcom says there is a mismatch between what is advertised, and the speeds customers receive.

But experts say speeds are affected by different factors, and are not strictly a measure of connection to a device.

Read more here.

Wall Street ends the week mixed

Wall Street had a mixed day as energy shares drop sharply and add to the dour mood set by the first decline in US jobs in seven years.

The Labor Department's closely watched employment report showed nonfarm payrolls fell by 33,000 in September as Hurricanes Harvey and Irma left displaced workers temporarily unemployed and delayed hiring.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 1.72 points, or 0.01%, at 22,773.67. The S&P 500 was down 2.74 points, or 0.17%, at 2,547.75, ending an eight-day gaining streak. The Nasdaq Composite, however, was up 4.82 points, or 0.07%, at 6,590.18 and hit its sixth-straight record high.

'Like shouting fire in the theatre'

Chris Johnston

Business reporter, BBC News

Andy Haldane (left) and Bank of England governor Mark Carney
BoE
Andy Haldane (left) with Bank of England governor Mark Carney

The Bank of England may never regain the trust it lost during the financial crisis, according to chief economist Andy Haldane.

"Even as the scars of the crisis heal, this trust deficit might not repair itself naturally," he said during a Q&A at the Royal Society of Arts in London.

However, that's not to say that Mr Haldane thinks the Bank should have been more reveaing during the crisis:

Had we been fully open and fully transparent about what was going on during the financial crisis, it would, let me tell you, have been a lot lot worse. That would have been shouting fire in the theatre and however bad it was, it would have caused ... an even greater haemorrhaging in confidence, and even greater collateral damage for savers and borrowers than we even saw."

The pound in your pocket

Pound coins have lost a third of their value since they were introduced in 1983, says Hargreaves Lansdown.

"Back then you could get a pint of beer and a loaf of bread for just a fraction over a pound," it says.

Sarah Coles, a personal finance analyst at the firm, says looking at what a pound will buy you "reveals the striking impact of inflation".

"Overall, today you would need £3 to buy what you could get for £1 back in 1983.

"Some prices have risen faster than others, so while the price of a pint of milk has more than doubled, the price of a loaf of bread has almost tripled and the price of a pint of beer has risen more than four-fold."

Of course, rather depressingly, at the moment UK inflation is outstripping wage growth, so we're effectively getting just that little bit poorer every day.

Kellogg's chomps up protein bar firm

Cornflakes
Reuters

Kellogg's says it's to buy a protein bar firm for $600m as the cereal giant as it tries to move into healthier foods and go after younger customers.

Chicago Bar Co, which makes RXBAR, will continue to operate independently after the deal, Kellogg's says.

Payout in hacking case

A former intelligence officer whose computer was hacked has accepted substantial undisclosed damages from News Group Newspapers, part of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp.

Ian Hurst brought proceedings at London's High Court against NGN, publisher of the defunct News of the World, and News UK & Ireland Ltd for breach of confidence and misuse of private information.

He served in the Intelligence Corps and the Force Research Unit in Northern Ireland between 1980 and 1991 when he retired.

His primary role was to recruit and run agents within Republican terrorist groups to obtain tactical and strategic intelligence.

Mr Hurst's counsel, Jeremy Reed, told Mr Justice Mann on Friday that NGN now accepted that Mr Hurst's privacy had been invaded.

He said that it accepted vicarious liability for the circumstances which ultimately led to the wrongful acts of Philip Campbell Smith, who was known to some for his expertise in computer hacking and email interception.

He added that NGN acknowledged that his emails were intercepted routinely and intensively over a period of several months in 2006.

It had agreed to pay him substantial damages and his legal costs.

Anthony Hudson QC, for NGN, said it offered its "sincerest and unreserved" apologies: "News Group Newspapers accepts that such activity happened, accepts that it should never have happened, and has undertaken to the court that it will never happen again."

Treasury: Productivity a long-term challenge

Union flag umbrella
Getty Images

Following UK productivity falling at its joint-fastest annual rate since 2013 in the year after the country voted to leave the European Union, the Treasury had this to say:

"Productivity has been a long-term challenge which is why we must invest now to step up our performance.

"We have announced £23 billion for infrastructure, research and housing while also reforming technical education so that our economy works for everyone."

Mortgage sting

Personal finance reporter Brian Milligan has a bit of bad news for home buyers:

View more on twitter

Further tariff of 80% imposed on import of C-Series

Bombardier jet
Getty Images

The US Department of Commerce has again ruled against aerospace firm Bombardier in its dispute with rival Boeing.

A further tariff of 80% has been imposed on the import of Bombardier's C-Series jet to the US for alleged below-cost selling.

This is on top of an earlier tariff of 220% which related to subsidies Bombardier got from Canada and the UK.

There have been warnings that the import tariffs could threaten Bombardier jobs in Belfast.

Read more here.

US environment agency to argue Obama climate rules illegal

Geothermal plants stand beside a dried up lake bed near Red Hill Marina
Getty Images

In an unusual move for an environmental protection agency, the US EPA is to argue that Obama-era carbon emissions regulations for power plants were illegal, in a move to repeal them.

The EPA is headed by Scott Pruitt, who as a lawyer opposed environmental regulations.

He was appointed by US president Donald Trump, who has said "the concept of global warming was created by the Chinese in order to make US manufacturing non-competitive."

Mr Trump picked Andrew Wheeler, a coal lobbyist, as deputy head of the EPA on Friday.

Moody's: Catalan independence would have negative impact

Catalan protestors
Eric Valls

Independence for Catalonia would "have broad negative, albeit highly uncertain, credit implications for a wide range of bond issuers in Spain and the region", says credit ratings agency Moody's.

"Despite heightened tensions between the Catalan regional government and the central Spanish authorities, our central scenario remains that Catalunya will continue to be part of the Kingdom of Spain," said Colin Ellis, a Moody's managing director.

"The independence process would likely be very disruptive, with significant operational risks, as well as potential financial or economic fallout.

"Institutional frameworks would also change, both domestically and internationally. The precise nature of any relationship between a newly independent Catalonia and the European Union - or indeed what currency Catalonia would use - is highly uncertain."

Royal Mail sends legal letter to CWU

The Royal Mail has sent a legal letter to the Communication Workers Union asking it to follow "dispute resolution procedures".

"If CWU does not withdraw its notice of strike action by 12 noon Monday 9 October, Royal Mail will lodge an application with the High Court for an injunction to prevent industrial action," Royal Mail said.

RBS removes logo from London HQ

RBS logo
RBS

RBS has swapped out its RBS branding at its London HQ at 250 Bishopsgate to make way for Natwest branding.

Last year the bank announced it would rebrand as NatWest in England and Wales, Ulster Bank in Ireland and the Royal Bank of Scotland in Scotland.

RBS logo
Getty Images

Ryanair 'run like a communist regime', says pilot

Michael O'Leary
Getty Images

Cabin crew reduced to tears, pilots refused days off even for their weddings, and workers "left in exile" thousands of miles from their homes and families.

After budget airline Ryanair was forced to cancel thousands of flights - repeatedly blaming a rostering error rather than an alleged pilot shortage - chief executive Michael O'Leary has written to pilots offering them better pay and conditions.

A long-serving pilot explains why the offer is "too little, too late", and explains why his colleagues are leaving the airline.

Read more here.

FTSE 100 rises but pound falls to one-month dollar low

Trader
Getty Images

The pound continued to fall as uncertainty over Theresa May's future as prime minister hit the currency.

Sterling fell to a one-month low against the dollar, hitting $1.3035 at one point. Against the euro, the pound dropped 0.6% to €1.1135.

Former Tory Party chairman Grant Shapps said on Friday he believed Theresa May should face a leadership election.

Connor Campbell at Spreadex said a leadership battle would be "seriously bruising for the pound".

Read more here.

Catalonia referendum: Spain apologises to injured Catalans

Spanish police and protesters face off
Getty Images

The Spanish government's representative in Catalonia has apologised to those injured during police efforts to stop Sunday's independence referendum.

But Enric Millo blamed the Catalan government for holding an illegal vote.

Meanwhile the government in Madrid has issued a decree making it easier for companies to move their headquarters away from Catalonia.

A Catalan minister told the BBC his government would go ahead with an independence debate in parliament.

Read more here.

Catalan voters said si

Catalan protesters
Getty Images

Final results from Catalonia's outlawed independence referendum showed 90% of voters backed the region breaking away from Spain, the Catalan government said.

A full count of the results from last Sunday's vote, published online, showed that 2,044,038 of the 2,286,217 people who took part voted for independence.

The turnout, however, was only 43%.

'Europhile Tory rebels'

The Financial Times tweets...

Lord Sugar: There is no gender pay gap

BBC Apprentice star denies there is an industry-wide problem with equal pay

The BBC Apprentice star denies there is an industry-wide problem with equal pay.

Lord Sugar blames the BBC row over presenter pay for the world assuming that there is a problem.

He was speaking to the BBC's Vivienne Nunis.

Robot wars

Know your rights

Pound continues to fall after Tory infighting

Sterling took a tumble on Friday as reports of a Tory plot to topple Theresa May cast doubt over the Prime Minister's future.

The UK currency reached a one-month low against the US dollar as Welwyn Hatfield MP Grant Shapps was unmasked as a ringleader among a group of Conservatives pushing for a leadership election.

The pound briefly rose after Mrs May said she would provide "calm leadership" to the country.

Sterling briefly topped $1.31 after the statement, up from $1.3052 beforehand, before falling again to $1.303.

Tesco UK boss told 'word by word' of hole in accounts, court hears

Amit Soni
Getty Images

The head of Tesco's UK business was read out "almost word by word" a report detailing a £250m hole in the supermarket's accounts in 2014 a week before the stock market was informed, Southwark Crown Court has been told.

Amit Soni (pictured), a senior accountant at Tesco, was giving evidence for a third day at the trial of three former senior executives of Britain's biggest supermarket who are accused of fraud and false accounting in 2014.

The figure was later revised up to £326m.

Christopher Bush, 51, who was managing director of Tesco UK, Carl Rogberg, 50, who was UK finance director, and John Scouler, 49, who was UK food commercial director, all deny the charges and have pleaded not guilty.

Not so glamorous?

Glamour mag
Conde Nast

Many magazines have managed to weather the digital storm reasonably well, but the decision by Conde Nast to stop publishing Glamour magazine monthly could be something of a canary in the coal mine.

The company says the title is going and will instead produce a "collectible, glossy tome" twice a year.

A spokeswoman told the BBC the "mobile-first, social-first" move, with a focus on beauty, was based on how readers are "living their life today".

Glamour will be going into consultation over jobs but could not confirm numbers yet.

The last monthly print edition will be published in November.

Dollar rises after jobs data release

The dollar is up against the pound and the euro following US jobs data.

Neil Wilson of ETX Capital says:

"What has the dollar bulls rushing back to the party is the stronger wage data...

"This... is the big signal bulls had been waiting for that inflation is about to rally from the pretty lacklustre levels seen this year."

The hurricane-driven temporary unemployment was concentrated in low paying industries like retail and leisure and hospitality.

So, average hourly earnings increased 12 cents or 0.5% in September after rising 0.2% in August.

That pushed the annual increase in wages to 2.9%, the largest gain since December 2016, from 2.7% in August.

Annual wage growth of at least 3.0% is needed to raise inflation to the Fed's 2% target, analysts say.

US jobs weakness 'transitory'

While US jobs figures were weak in September, the jobs market remains buoyant, says Kully Samra, UK managing director at Charles Schwab.

"Nonfarm payroll results, in particular employment data, were somewhat in subdued in September and, thanks to the effects of the recent hurricanes, employment data will likely be skewed to the downside over the next couple of months.

"However, we believe this weakness is transitory and the underlying labour market remains tight. Job openings recently hit a record high of over six million and may later get a temporary boost as the rebuilding and replacing cycle takes hold in the hurricane damaged areas."

Storms hit US jobs

Florida keys storm damage
Getty Images

The drop in US jobs was the first since September 2010.

The Labor Department said Harvey and Irma, which wreaked havoc in Texas and Florida in late August and early September, had reduced "the estimate of total nonfarm payroll employment for September."

However, the unemployment rate dropped to 4.2% from 4.4% in August.

BreakingUS employment falls

US employment fell in September for the first time in seven years as Hurricanes Harvey and Irma left displaced workers temporarily unemployed and delayed hiring, the latest indication that the storms undercut economic activity in the third quarter.

The Labor Department said 33,000 jobs were lost last month amid a record drop in employment in the leisure and hospitality sector.

BreakingMadrid's Catalan move

CaixaBank branch
Reuters

Madrid has passed a decree making it easier for businesses to move their legal bases (domiciles, if you please) from Catalonia, a Spanish government spokesman said.

Sabadell, the Barcelona-based bank, said last night it will move its legal base to Alicante following threats by the region's leaders to declare independence.

The move by Madrid will make it easier for CaixaBank, Spain's second-largest bank, to move - avoiding the need for a shareholder meeting to approve the decision.

Blade Runner 2049 set for box office bonanza

US actor Harrison Ford and Cuban actress Ana de Armas
Getty Images

It's the opening weekend for Blade Runner 2049, the follow-up to the 1982 cult classic.

While the original did not make much of an impression at the box office, the sequel is expected to make quite a blast.

Critics have been swooning over the film and some think it could take more than $100m this weekend.

It's another big gamble for Alcon Entertainment, reports Deadline Hollywood. Sony also invested in the film, which is thought to have cost more than $150m to make.

Blade Runner 2049 stars Harrison Ford and Ana de Armas (pictured), as well as Ryan Gosling among others.

The May factor

Personal finance correspondent Simon Gompertz tweets:

View more on twitter

Sterling stirs - a little...

Chris Johnston

Business reporter, BBC News

Theresa May
PA

Perhaps it was the fact that Theresa May has not resigned (not yet anyway) that has given the pound a bit of a bounce today.

After the prime minister gave a brief TV interview in Reading to say she would provide "calm leadership", sterling briefly topped $1.31, almost half a cent higher, but soon eased back to trade at $1.3090 - still down 0.2% on the day.

The FTSE 100 is up 0.15% at 7,519 points.

McKinsey asked to pay back South Africa fees

Andrew Harding

BBC News, Johannesburg

The global consulting firm McKinsey has been asked to pay back tens of millions of dollars that it earned working in South Africa. The country's energy utility, Eskom, said the money had been paid unlawfully and should be refunded.

McKinsey was paid almost a billion rand ($70m) for a few months' consultancy work.

Its local partner, Trillian, earned half that sum. Now Eskom itself has said that deal was dodgy, and McKinsey should return the cash.

But McKinsey insists it did nothing wrong, and says that it withdrew from the deal as soon as it became suspicious.

This scandal, like so many in South Africa today, involves allegations against the Gupta family - powerful businessmen accused of buying influence over President Jacob Zuma, members of his cabinet, and other key officials. All deny any wrongdoing.

Toyota says Auris story 'old news'

Toyota has responded to the Reuters story (see earlier post) that the company plans to make its new Auris car at its British plant.

Toyota says this is old news: “Toyota announced investment upgrades for its vehicle plant at Burnaston some time ago.

"The company’s position on Brexit has remained consistent since the UK referendum – that a competitive environment for the UK automotive sector must be maintained in the future. This means continued tariff and barrier-free market access between the UK and Europe that is predictable and uncomplicated.

“There are no imminent investment decisions to take on our UK manufacturing businesses.”

US jobs report - watch wage growth

US flag
Getty Images

In a little under two hour's time the US government releases its official report on the labour market for September.

The US economy is expected to have created around 80,000 thousand jobs last month, a sharp drop on August, when 156,000 jobs were added.

The unemployment rate is expected to be steady at 4.4%.

But economists will probably be paying the most attention to wage growth, which is forecast t rise from 0.1% to 0.3%.

Report raises questions over Qatar world cup

Toyota to build Auris in UK - report

Toyota logo
Reuters

Reuters reports that Toyota is set to build its new Auris model in the UK, assuming there will be a Brexit transition period.

Reuters says that the final decision will be made by the end of the year.

Toyota builds the current Auris model at its plant in Burnaston, which is expected to continue until 2021.

Market movers

Market analyst
Getty Images

Broker recommendations are behind some of the biggest share price moves on the market today.

In the FTSE 100, private healthcare provider NMC Health is up 1.7% after Berenberg gave the company a "buy" rating.

Not such good news for precision equipment maker Renishaw, however. Shares in the FTSE 250 company are down more than 8% after Stifel cut its rating on the firm to "sell" from "hold".